Sending Out an SOS for SOA Help
Companies will continue to increase investments in service oriented architecture (SOA) throughout the rest of 2006, according to the IDC study "SOA-Based Services Buying Trends." Most U.S.-based companies surveyed rated SOA as important to their overall business strategy, and indicated that they are planning to purchase SOA-related services by the end of 2006.
SOA, a software development approach founded on easy integration of disparate applications, is a significant opportunity for service providers and vendors to assist companies in implementing SOA, according to Marianne Hedin, program manager for IDC's Worldwide Services and SOA programs. Vendors must continue their education efforts, provide guidelines, and demonstrate business benefits to reach the majority of potential SOA users, according to Hedin. "Companies which will try to implement SOA on their own without any outside help will soon discover that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to roll out a [large] SOA initiative without considering the impact on the organization and its employees. To help them tackle the various issues involving organizational change they will need a service provider or vendor to chip in."
Typical roadblocks with SOA deployments include deciding how to jumpstart an SOA implementation, sidestepping additional costs, and ensuring that IT investments are allotted with the proper business strategies. When considering assistance from an external service provider, the survey found that companies planning to adopt SOA are most likely to turn to a vendor, consulting firm, or systems integrator, and to some extent a traditional outsourcer. Hein says this is indicative of a general trend with new technologies. "Companies are more likely to turn to larger, well established service providers as they are unwilling to take a risk with a less-known services player when embarking on a new technology venture," Hedin says.
For now, respondents said they are looking to procure a wide range of services for SOA, including consulting, implementation, training and education, outsourcing, and support services. Although consulting services continue to be on top of the list, additional types of services are also expected to be in strong demand by SOA adopters.
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